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New phase of kids' study launched
[Posted: Thu 11/09/2008 by Deborah Condon www.irishhealth.com]
The next phase of a major study into children in Ireland has been launched. Some 10,000 nine-month-old infants and their parents are to be involved.
The study, Growing Up in Ireland, is following the progress of 10,000 children from birth and 8,000 nine-year-olds, through to adulthood.
The first wave of data collection, which involved interviewing 8,500 nine-year-olds, their parents, teacher and principals, has just been completed Now in the coming days, work will begin on the infant phase involving nine-month-olds.
“Research with the families will get underway in the coming days and continue until next year with approximately 1,500 families invited to take part each month. The 10,000 families invited to take part in this stage of the study will be selected randomly from the Child Benefit register,” the researchers from Trinity College and the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) said.
The aim of the study is to paint a full picture of children in Ireland today and to understand what factors affect their development and wellbeing. It is expected that the information gained will have a major impact on the types of services and supports available to children and their families.
The research involving nine-year-olds began in the first half of 2007, when 8,500 children were selected randomly through the national school system. Participation involved both a home and school component.
In school, the children underwent a test in English and maths. Information about each child was also collected from the class teacher and principal. At home, the children filled out questionnaires, as did their parents. Questions covered topics such as health, diet, exercise, education and emotional health.
These children will be visited again when they are 13.
Commenting on the forthcoming infant phase, principal investigator, Prof James Williams of the ESRI, said that the researchers have been preparing for this phase since the start of the year.
“We are looking forward to welcoming another 10,000 families on board with the study over the coming months. The information we collect from these families will add to a growing bank of invaluable data which will become a major element of the evidence base for policy and practice regarding children and their families, ensuring that every child can have the best possible start in life,” he said.
For more information on the study, click on…http://www.growingup.ie
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